Today's email is all about overcoming prejudice and admitting when you are wrong.
When I was a kid there were only two choices for beer in Western Australia.
Emu Export - if you'd had a tough day
or Swan Gold - if you were piss weak. Coz it's mid strength.
With the explosion of "road transport" in the 1990s lots of exotic beers started infiltrating West Australian bottlos. Beers like VB, Hahn Ice and Carlton Cold took centre stage at backyard Goon of Fortune knees ups where grunge was the sound track and flannys were the fashion. I got through school, uni and a few years of night clubbing having never consumed one can of Emu Export.
"I thought I was better than it. I thought it would never happen to me." - Renae Bunster
Fast forward 10 years and when I returned to Perth from a long stint in London I noticed a strange phenomenon. The eastern states beers were gone and the Red Can was firmly on the top shelf in all of my young hipster mates' fridges. I thought they were just being ironic, especially as they affectionately called it "Bush Chook", Aussie slang for a wild chicken, aka an emu.
"Look at us with our fixie bikes, tattoos, beards and our Bush Chooks, we're so funny. PMSL. ROFL."
I thought they were uncultured philistines who couldn't afford craft beer and to hide the fact, they made a joke of it by drinking the cheapest Dad piss at the bottlo. I used to think: "Why not drink your old man's Export out of a jam jar while you crochet a picnic blanket out of his undies, coz clearly you must still live at home and you stole those out of his fridge, you hipster douchebag."
"Oh how cold I was, and how wrong. So very, very wrong."
I lived in my arrogant, ignorant bliss for a few more years, looking down at people I loved and respected from my craft beer ivory tower. Until one fateful day we decided to go camping and we encountered the perfect Bush Chook storm:
- We needed beer in a can so it wouldn't smash during 4 wheel driving
- We we had to stick to a budget, we needed a shit tonne of beer and Emu was on sale
- We had to store it in an esky full of ice, so it was always icy, icy cold (which is the only way Emu should be consumed)
- We were in the middle of no where with nothing to do except sink loads of piss with our mates.....
It was the perfect storm for the Red Can to earn a special place in my heart. I now get it and I'm so sorry to everyone I ever judged.
"Je Suis Bush Chook" - Renae Bunster
My actual friends with 300 cans of Emu Export at a "300" themed party. Photo courtesy of Scotty, it's his most liked photo on Facebook ever.
I think there's something in that for all of us, don't you.
P.S. I am not at all affiliated with Emu Export or the Swan Brewery but if anyone knows someone there who can hook me up I will gladly take some free beer and keep plugging it. Je suis Bush Chook 4eva.